If you're retired, love being outside and don't want to spend your time cooped up inside, consider volunteering in the great outdoors.
Meg started volunteering for a local nature center when her kids were young. An avid gardener, she would help plant herbs and flowers while her children were in school. Once they went to college, she devoted more time to it. She led nature walks, cleared trails and worked in the vegetable garden.
Do you love nature and the great outdoors? If so, there are many volunteer opportunities to feed your passion when you retire. For seniors, it's a great way to stay physically active, clean up the environment and create a safe, appealing setting for others to enjoy. Just be sure to check with your doctor before you increase your activity level.
How you can help
Not sure where to start? Focus on what you love to do and the skills you can offer. Love to hike and camp? You may want to work with trail and campground maintenance, or lead a day or weekend trip for a walking club. Know a lot about plants and wildlife? An outdoors club or national forest program may need you.
Most groups have full- or part-time openings, or you could choose a one-time project. Others serve over several weekends or months, or during certain seasons. The commitment you make is up to you. Training may be provided if needed.
Choose an organization
The nonprofit and government programs listed here are popular with volunteers of all ages. They can match you with a project or service that will draw on your talents, interests and skills.
- The American Hiking Society maintains trails in local communities. They need volunteers for:
- National Trails Day, to promote awareness and appreciation of America's trails
- Trail work - trips lasting one to two weeks to construct or rebuild footpaths, cabins and shelters
- National Park Service/U.S. Forest Service
Thousands of people volunteer every year with the government to:
- Maintain campgrounds
- Take photographs
- Plant trees and seed damaged areas
- Present environmental education programs
- Build and repair fences, nesting boxes and picnic tables
- Build docks, trails and other structures
- Restore damaged stream banks
- The Nature Conservancy
Are you an environmental enthusiast? This nonprofit works to preserve plants and animals by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.
- Outdoors clubs
Groups like the Sierra Club and Appalachian Mountain Club depend on volunteers. For instance, you could "adopt" and be responsible for the maintenance of a two- to three-mile section of trail. Or you might want to lead a hike.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service
Volunteers for their Passport in Time program work with archaeologists and historians. Projects in national forests throughout the United States include:
- Archaeological survey and excavation
- Rock art restoration
- Restoring historic buildings or structures
- Oral history gathering
- Analysis of artifacts
- Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
RSVP is a government-funded program for people 55 and over who want to volunteer. For nature-lovers, this could include trail maintenance, gardening or helping with environmental education programs in your community.
"Active" volunteering in the outdoors is a great way give back to your community and the environment. You will also order kamagra cheap gain a sense of accomplishment, be challenged mentally and physically, and come home refreshed and rejuvenated.